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Moreno-Garcia, Silvia

Entry updated 20 November 2023. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(1981-    ) Mexican author, now in Canada, who attended university in the United States. Moreno-Garcia grew up in Baja California and Mexico City, the latter featuring prominently in her work (see also Mexico). She is perhaps the most visible Mexican genre author writing in English, and as such can be identified with the generation of young World SF authors such as Aliette de Bodard and Lavie Tidhar, who similarly chose English as their primary (though never exclusive) medium.

Moreno-Garcia was initially active in the small press. Her first short story publication was "Mirror Life" in the webzine Deep Magic in June 2006. She made her first professional sale with "Seeds" to Shine: An Anthology of Near-Future, Optimistic Science Fiction (anth 2010) edited by Jetse de Vries. Two small-press short story collections followed [see Checklist below]. Her debut novel, Signal to Noise (2015), showcases her fascination with, and love of, Mexico City, which continues to be an important setting for her fiction. The novel itself is a bitter-sweet coming-of-age fantasy set partially in the 1980s. Certain Dark Things (2016), her second novel, ambitiously marries a noir narrative and Vampire fiction to address the contemporary Drug crisis in Mexico. In a country overrun with narco-vampires, a street kid joins the runaway daughter of a high-ranking, Aztec vampire crime family on the run. The cop who pursues them has her own problems.

So far, Moreno-Garcia has refused the genre's demand for series or, indeed, even for striking a similar tone between books. The Beautiful Ones (2017) is a romantic Fantasy of Manners [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], while Gods of Jade and Shadow (2019) is a Jazz Age fantasy replete with Mayan Gods, the tale focusing primarily on the god of Death in his quest to reconquer his kingdom.

Though she is predominantly a fantasy author (in the twenty-first century sense as part of a wider Fantastika, as discussed in this encyclopedia), the novella Prime Meridian (2017) is sf – ambitiously so. Self-published, it has garnered considerable acclaim. Set in a slightly Alternate History present day – there are colonies on Mars, for example – it follows the life of Amelia, a working class girl employed as a rent-a-friend in Mexico City. Amelia desperately dreams of going to Mars, a world helplessly imagined in cinematic terms but never quite seen. Quietly and triumphantly marrying mundane sf, twenty-first century concerns and a sense of Philip K Dick-like small lives, this is an assured, mature work of speculative fiction.

In 2009, Moreno-Garcia established Innsmouth Free Press, a Small Press with a focus on progressive Lovecraftian fiction (see Cthulhu Mythos; H P Lovecraft), under which imprint she published several titles. She edited Innsmouth Magazine with Paula R Stiles, which ran for fifteen issues from 2009 to 2014. As editor, Moreno-Garcia then went on to focus on Anthologies. She Walks in Shadows (anth 2015), an all-women anthology of Lovecraftian stories, again edited with Paula R Stiles, won the 2016 World Fantasy Award for best anthology. Her Mexican Gothic (2020) won a Locus Award as best horror novel. Silver Nitrate (2023) is a horror story involving a "lost" silent film made by Abel Urueta, which seems to be cursed; echoes of legends surrounding the early filmmaker Abel Gance (1889-1981) may be detected.

Moreno-Garcia has quietly established herself as an author and editor unwilling to compromise her vision of the world. It is a vision worthy of notice. [LTi]

see also: The Jewish Mexican Literary Review.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

born Baja California, Mexico: 25 April 1981


collections and stories

works as editor


previous versions of this entry

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